We follow the principles of
Our Sacred Scripture
We are empiricists. That means we tend to trust that which can be directly observed, and we tend to be skeptical about things that come to
us from the observations of those who are far removed from us..
Now, we should note right away that no one who participates in life with others can be a complete empiricist. As Saint René noted,
the only thing we can really know is that there is some one thing in the universe, that is there is the thing that is thinking about the question,
a thing called "I". No wait, it's not a thing in the universe because that implies two things, the thinking thing and the universe. Really, "I" and
"the universe" are the same thing. Empiricism is a dead end to us empiricists. Some things, such as the notion that there can be a such
thing as a straight line, have to be taken on faith.
Ethicists like to focus on determining what is ethical behavior, under the assumption that once determined, people will strive to live up to
the standards of ethical behavior.
To illustrate what we find wrong with that approach, we cite the words of Saint Johnny:
I shot a man in Reno
just to watch him die
just to watch him die
So hey, where was the ethical striver in that guy?
We see the effects of this oversight everywhere. Counselors try to help people understand the "differences of opinion" that cause hostilities
between them. We all know that the desire of one person to have power over generates much more hostility among people than does
difference of opinion.
Counselors and helpful friends also know that "difference of opinion" is a lot safer to talk about than interpersonal power plays. It strokes the
participants with its implicit assumption that they are honest, ethical people whose problem has nothing to do with one trying to take something
from the other: his esteem, reputation, money, kids, soul, etc. Talking honestly about those things on the other hand is, well, touching a live wire. Better to
let that sleeping dog lie. A counselor who wants to keep his or her clients will avoid mention of power struggles.
This is where we share something with Christianity. People often cite the cliche that people are both good and bad, and the way people guard
their assets shows that in their hearts they know about the bad part. But Christians tend to keep the bad part in a closet of abstraction. We are
all good and bad. The bad part is the one that needs attention, because our vanity is constantly trying to get us to overlook it.
But then Christians tend to obfuscate the study of evil. They do drive-by acknowledgements of evil but when Jesus commands Christians to be
as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves the innocent part gets all the attention at the expense of the admonisment to be shrewd. And so
the world tends to eat the Christians' lunch. When Christians pretend not to see evil, as opposed to seeing it and forgiving it, they are being
Ethicsology therefore consists of two parts: Ethics and Evilology. Where ethics is the study of the way people ought to behave, evilology is the
study of evil and how to mitigate its effects.
The study of evilology begins with the words of Saint Johnny; the second bit of assigned reading is from Heinrich Heine's Civilization and Its
"Mine is a most peaceable disposition. My wishes are: a humble cottage with a thatched roof, but a good bed, good food, the freshest milk and butter,
flowers before my window, and a few fine trees before my door; and if God wants to make my happiness complete, he will grant me the joy of seeing
some six or seven of my enemies hanging from those trees. [After] their death I shall, moved in my heart, forgive them all the wrong they did me in their lifetime.
One must, it is true, forgive one's enemies -- but not before they have been hanged."
The third unit of study is The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis.
Fourth unit is Games People Play by Eric Berne
Fifth unit is Parkinson's Law by C. Northcote Parkinson
Sixth unit is How I Like Fixed The Internet by P. K. Iggy
Seventh unit is On Bullshit, by Harry Frankfurt
Eighth unit is The Authenticity Economy, where we learn how all this BS led to the acceptance of fraud and theft as standard business practice; and how to recover from the widespread effects of BS..
3. Our Sacred Scripture
So we are each individually good and bad. Once our study of ethicsology has us accepting both parts of that, studying scripture together can help
the good prevail over the bad in each of us. Click here to see our sacred scripture.